Mohammad Rizwan defied all odds and played a vital knock against Australia in the semi-final of the 20-20 World Cup. He was suffering from chest pain and was in the ICU for two days before the high-octane game. Yet, nothing could stop the diminutive wicketkeeper-batter from contributing to the team’s cause and helping Pakistan get to a competitive score.
Rizwan’s 67 could not help Pakistan win the match but it showed how determined he was to not give up even after suffering from a chest problem. Specialist Pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital, Saheer Sainalabdeen, who was instrumental in getting the cricketer back on its feet, was stunned by Rizwan’s quick recovery.
“Mujhe Khelna he. Team ke saath rehna he, (I want to play and be with the team),” Rizwan used to say to doctors who treated him in the ICU.
“Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout match. He was strong, determined, and confident. I am astonished at the pace he had recovered,” recalled Saheer.
Initially, the wicketkeeper-batter was suffering from flu but later reports confirmed that he had severe laryngeal infection leading to an esophageal spasm and bronchospasm.. “His pain at the time of admission was 10/10. So, we subjected him for a detailed evaluation to diagnose the condition,” said Saheer.
“He was shifted to ICU. “Esophageal spasms can feel like sudden and severe chest pain that lasts for a few minutes to hours,” said Saheer.
Under normal circumstances, the recovery would take 3-5 days but Rizwan remained focused and determined to get back on his feet and play for his country in the semifinal. “Rizwan had a severe infection. Recovery and gaining fitness before the semifinal seemed unrealistic. It would have normally taken 5-7 days for anybody to recover,” maintained Saheer.